COVID-19 caused a lot of problems last year, not the least of which was the disruption of typical on-campus interviewing. We want to know what your OCI experience was like during COVID. What were the biggest challenges you faced? Was there anything new about it that you actually liked? (For instance, remote/virtual interviews.)
I liked not having to run around/travel for interviews. I didn't like the new variables added by technology. For example, I interviewed with three attorneys on zoom. Only one attorney asked any questions. Normally I take this as a cue to take the lead/ask for questions, but two of the attorneys appeared to looking offscreen and weren't very responsive. It was so uncomfortable and I really felt like they were signaling to me they didn't want to waste more time with me. I said I had asked all my questions about 5 minutes before the interview technically ended, which I normally never do. After that I obviously didn't hear from the firm, but now I'm questioning if they just had a weird camera set-up or if they really didn't like me. Not being able to reliably read the room is a bummer.
I enjoyed being able to do things from the comfort of my home. Being able to do things in the 5 minutes between screeners was nice (bathroom, get a drink, eat a banana, etc...) and not feel in a rush to do these things. Also, when doing these things, you can be alone or around family instead of literally everyone. It also meant that I could control my environment and make sure that there would be no disturbances I could not control, which actually made things more serene. On the downside, my internet cut out a couple of times during a screener which was unnerving, people talk in monologues over Zoom which is not conducive to great conversations, and callbacks over Zoom were a bummer as a result. I did have attorneys tell me they liked doing screeners over Zoom due to the fact they didn't need to lose a day travelling, but you do lose personable moments. Overall I enjoyed the virtual process, but wished CBs were in-person.
I didn't do OCI via Zoom this year, but did OCI in August 2019 as a 2L and then interviewed for post-grad jobs in fall 2020 virtually. Virtual interviews were so much better for me than in person. I didn't have to run around different cities trying to get to interviews on time. I didn't have to worry about showing up to the interview a sweaty mess after rushing through midtown Manhattan to get to the firm. Instead, I got to do it from the comfort of my interview. I felt like it was easier to make connections via Zoom, and I felt like I was a much stronger interviewer virtually. I interviewed for three jobs virtually last fall and got 2 offers - 2 more than I got at OCI.